Yolo County has reached the end of its first year of partnership with Financial Marketing Concepts Inc., whose officials say the community has collectively saved $157,097 on prescriptions since the collaboration’s beginning. Yolo County has 905 card holders.
The county’s yearlong partners are a parent company of Coast2Coast Rx, a free pharmaceutical drug discount card. The Yolo County Health Department originally announced its intention to associate with the savings program in August 2011, which opened up opportunities for all residents to enjoy price cuts on prescriptions and other services.
Marty Dettelbach, chief marketing officer of Financial Marketing Concepts Inc., said Yolo County joined a quickly growing family of counties in the state that have given the program a shot.
“We’ve had the discount card in our program menu for about 20 years, but it wasn’t until about five or six years ago that we began working with counties and cities,” Dettelbach said. “We now have over 200 governmental entities that we’ve partnered with. In California alone, we have 26 counties that participate, with another five or 10 joining within the end of the year.”
Being a card holder allows access to a reported savings of up to 75 percent on approximately 60,000 commonly prescribed medications. Those with insurance will not always find lower prices with the card, Dettelbach said, but it can be used for Viagra or other lifestyle drugs that otherwise may not be covered under health care plans.
The card never expires nor is it exhausted on use. It can be utilized for discounts at any major pharmacy, along with some participating independent sellers. Residents can get the discount card from the Web (coast2coastrx.com), or pick one up at various governmental offices, libraries or local health facilities.
To support the cost-free program, pharmaceutical businesses give up a profit margin from the drug’s cost. Also, the discount provider receives funding for driving sales to drug companies. In turn, Financial Marketing Concepts Inc. returns royalties to the county in the amount of $1.25 per prescription.
Coast2Coast Rx has expanded to include a varied pool of health care services since the county partnership began. Card holders can now find savings on certain dental, vision, veterinary and hearing services, as well as diabetes supplies and lab work.
Dettelbach said the current financial climate and changing state of health care have created a need for a program that saves people money, whatever the amount.
“With the economy being what it is, a lot of people don’t have extra money — even for the costs of co-pay,” Dettelbach said. “Up to 25 percent of people that get prescriptions can’t afford to refill them. … Truthfully, the economy is hurting people.”
Next on the agenda is further promotion of this option to those people, Dettelbach added, which may include direct mailing of the card to Yolo County residents and televised public service announcements within the next few months.
“It’s a great program,” Dettelbach said. “Somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 families could use this in Yolo County, and I would love to get this to as many of those people as possible.”
— Reach Brett Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8052.